With the Super Bowl just days away, many Americans are likely looking forward to the coming respite from the ongoing NFL national anthem protests. They'd like to watch the championship game — between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots — free of politics and not have to think about the protests that many of them felt tainted the entire season.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is apparently not one of those people.
McMaster issued a proclamation Tuesday that Sunday will be "Stand for the Flag Super Bowl Sunday."
The proclamation declared the importance of standing for the flag and the national anthem, touted the U.S. flag's important symbolism, and praised the military men and women — both active duty and retired — who have defended the nation.
"I ask that all South Carolinians show the world our state’s resolute commitment to supporting our troops by standing for the national anthem wherever you watch the Super Bowl with your loved ones this Sunday," McMaster said in a tweet publicizing the proclamation.
I ask that all South Carolinians show the world our state’s resolute commitment to supporting our troops by standin… https://t.co/CjcVlRmAlm— Gov. Henry McMaster (@Gov. Henry McMaster) 1517337193.0
McMaster wasn't the only Republican elected official rehashing the national anthem controversy on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump has long been a critic of the NFL protests that were started in 2016 by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said he was taking a knee to make a statement about racial injustice in America. Trump even famously said that NFL owners should fire any "son of a b**ch" player who took a knee.
During Tuesday night's State of the Union address, Trump took a veiled shot at the NFL protests after sharing the story of Preston Sharp, an 11-year-old California boy who started a campaign in 2015 to place flowers and flags on the graves of veterans:
Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. [...]
Preston's reverence for those who have served our nation reminds us of why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.
The House chamber exploded with applause following Trump's statement.